Statins Work As Well On Females As Males

Statins given to female patients are as effective in preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular events as they are for men, researchers from Boston and New York reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Cardiovascular events include stroke, heart attack, andangina. William J. Kostis, Ph.D., M.D., from Harvard Medical School, and team set out to determine what impact statins might have on reducing cardiovascular event risk in male and female patients. They gathered and analyzed data on 18 clinical trials which had gender-specific outcomes. A total of 141,235 patients were involved in all the studies, of which 40,275 were female - there were a total of 21,468 cardiovascular events. They found that those who were prescribed (randomly) statins had a considerably lower risk of a cardiovascular event compared to those on a placebo, usual care, or low-dose statin therapy. Females Odds Ratio were similar to men's - Odds Ratio: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.75 to 0.89; p < 0.0001, and Odds Ratio: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.71 to 0.83, p < 0.0001, respectively. The authors explained that the benefits of statins, regardless of the baseline risk, or type of control, were similar for males and females. All cause mortality was also considerably lower for both the male and female patients who were on statin therapy. In the same journal, the authors concluded in an Abstract: "Statin therapy is associated with significant decreases in cardiovascular events and in all-cause mortality in women and men. Statin therapy should be used in appropriate patients without regard to sex." What are statins? Statins, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, belong to a class of medications that are...

Fake Antimalarial Medications Undermine Africa Malaria Drive

Fraudulent and substandard antimalarial drugs could be wrecking the chances of winning the war against malaria in Africa, researchers from the Wellcome Trust-Mahosot Hospital-Oxford University Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration reported in the Malaria Journal. The authors add that millions of lives could be lost over the next twelve months unless urgent action is taken both within the African continent and elsewhere in the world. Fake medications are coming onto the scene as a result of deliberate criminal activity, while substandard drugs are becoming more common because of poor manufacturing practice. Not only are scores of patients being inadequately treated, but the presence of these undesirable and illegal medications significantly raises the risk of drug resistance among the malaria parasites. Approximately 781,000 people are thought to have died from malaria in 2009, says the World Malaria Report 2010. Artemisinin derivatives are the best antimalarials, experts say. They work faster than other medications, such as chloroquine and mefloquine, and also have fewer side-effects. These drugs can be used on their own to treat malaria, but are more commonly administered alongside other medications, mainly because of the rising problem of drug resistance. WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that for uncomplicated falciparum malaria, combination therapies be used. The researchers set out to determine how prevalent counterfeit and substandard antimalarials were in Africa. They gathered data from 11 nations in Africa between 2002 and 2010. They found that some fake drugs contained a combination of erroneous active ingredients, many of which only treated malaria signs and symptoms, but did not cure the disease itself. These unsuitable active ingredients were also found to cause potentially serious side-effects, especially when...

Majority Of Smokers Do Not Appreciate The Risks

The majority of smokers do not appreciate the risks of their habit, according to new research from the NHS in England, which has launched a new Smokefree campaign to help smokers quit this New Year. The NHS commissioned research and consulting organisation YouGov to carry out the research. They surveyed 1,000 smoking adults in England between 8th and 12th December 2011. The results suggest that more than half of smokers underestimate the damage smoking does to their personal health and finances: 53% of smokers underestimate how many people die each year from smoking-related diseases by 70,000 or more (actual figures show that in England, over 80,000 deaths a year are smoking-related).   58% underestimate how many long-term smokers die early because of their habit (actual figures show half of all long-term smokers die prematurely from a smoking-related disease).   35% underestimate how many cancer deaths are caused by smoking (in England, estimates put this at nearly a third of all cancer deaths).   8% of smokers still don't believe smoking can seriously damage their health and lead to early death.   Smokers tend to understimate the financial cost of smoking. With a pack of 20 cigarettes now costing an average of £6.59, a smoker who smokes 20 a day spends over £2,400 a year on cigarettes. The survey showed on average, smokers under-estimate the annual cost of their habit by more than £600. Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "Quitting smoking is the very best thing you can do to improve your health this New Year." "What's clear is that the majority of smokers want to quit smoking and free NHS help is...
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